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How many different sounds can a Mini Moog make ?


Theo Verelst

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Nonono, no philosophical rant or professional politics of the musical sciences here. I just need to know, because I'm working on my Superficial Intelligence side-pushing, well-mixed, sampling error (to a certain extend) compensated, deep simulation model based sounds for the Kurzweil, and thought this time I'd work on the Virtual Analog side of things.

 

So lets see, suppose we draw the number of choices next to every (set of) knobs on the front panel:

 

http://www.theover.org/Keybdmg/minimoogpanel1.png

 

I*I*I*2*2*6*7*7*2*I*I*6*6*6*I^3*2^5*I*2*2^3*I^6*I^3*I*2=

I^19 * 73156608

 

So if we take I=10, to reflect 10 possible settings for the dials (which is too low of course) that makes approximately 7.3 * 10E26 ...

 

I'd rather try to win the sweepstakes than covering this. (unless maybe I made a mistake, but, the number of dials quickly leads to a great number of sounds for sure)

 

All right, that;s already too much to count as a "countable" number of possibilities. Of course, some front panel setting possibilities aren't contributing to extra sounds, like the noise setting when the noise is off, but still even accounting for that, its appears sampling the possibilities is out of the question, even taking into account the possible construction of a "possibility" and "congruity" maze.

 

So it's safe to think even this not too-many knobs synth would better be simulated mainly by imitating the signal path and knob effects than most other approaches. Of course smart-*sses will want to add: but many sounds will sound alike! sure, but how much, and how does the complete picture then become clear ?

 

T.

 

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So it's safe to think even this not too-many knobs synth would better be simulated mainly by imitating the signal path and knob effects than most other approaches

 

Which is what most virtual analog synths do, so your point is... what exactly?

I make software noises.
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I think the question is Mr Einstein, how many MUSICAL possibilities are there.. and only a musician can determine that. So forget that theory, unless you were just funnin.

I was thinking myself about math and improvisation.

The number of combinations for just 3 notes ( withOUT rhythmic involved ) is 1 x 2 x 3= 6 options for eg A B C#

but an A major scale is an amazing 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 x 8 = 40,320 combinations to playing the major scale in one octave, leaving rhythmic, tonal, and dynamic elements out of it!! This huge number for 8 tones, really arouses my curiosity!

 

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Nonono, no philosophical rant or professional politics of the musical sciences here. I just need to know, because I'm working on my Superficial Intelligence side-pushing, well-mixed, sampling error (to a certain extend) compensated, deep simulation model based sounds for the Kurzweil, and thought this time I'd work on the Virtual Analog side of things.

 

So lets see, suppose we draw the number of choices next to every (set of) knobs on the front panel:

 

http://www.theover.org/Keybdmg/minimoogpanel1.png

 

I*I*I*2*2*6*7*7*2*I*I*6*6*6*I^3*2^5*I*2*2^3*I^6*I^3*I*2=

I^19 * 73156608

 

So if we take I=10, to reflect 10 possible settings for the dials (which is too low of course) that makes approximately 7.3 * 10E26 ...

 

I'd rather try to win the sweepstakes than covering this. (unless maybe I made a mistake, but, the number of dials quickly leads to a great number of sounds for sure)

 

All right, that;s already too much to count as a "countable" number of possibilities. Of course, some front panel setting possibilities aren't contributing to extra sounds, like the noise setting when the noise is off, but still even accounting for that, its appears sampling the possibilities is out of the question, even taking into account the possible construction of a "possibility" and "congruity" maze.

 

So it's safe to think even this not too-many knobs synth would better be simulated mainly by imitating the signal path and knob effects than most other approaches. Of course smart-*sses will want to add: but many sounds will sound alike! sure, but how much, and how does the complete picture then become clear ?

 

T.

Who is that tall guy in your avatar? And why did he turn around?

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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So if we take I=10, to reflect 10 possible settings for the dials (which is too low of course)

Yes, way too low. Since this is an analog device, in theory, there are an infinite number of possible values for many of the knobs. So accepting your premise that you don't care how alike the sounds are, without doing any math at all, I can conclude that it is impossible to duplicate every possible sound from a Minimoog using a finite number of samples.

 

And it gets worse. Most Minimoog sounds change over time (via envelopes, modulation settings, oscillator detunings). Now you have an infinite number of starting sounds, which can change in an infinite number of ways over every second, every millisecond, every infinitesimally small unit of time.

 

Then there is the fact that turning the knobs in real-time to smoothly change the sounds while playing produces yet another infinite number of ways the sound can vary, every infinitesimally small unit of time, under manual control, which is actually key to the way many people play the synth.

 

(And just for kicks, let's add the glide parameter you're mapping... for each setting of that knob alone, for each possible sound, you will get a different result on a given note depending on which note you had played immediately prior...)

 

So yes, it is clear that "sampling the possibilities is out of the question" without doing a single calculation!

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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So if we take I=10, to reflect 10 possible settings for the dials (which is too low of course)

 

 

And it gets worse. Most Minimoog sounds change over time (via envelopes, modulation settings, oscillator detunings).

Not to mention the oscillators drifting...

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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With the Mini I always felt there were only a small handful of unique sounds, however its the player that can make those sounds sound like something unique. George Duke and Jan Hammer in particular! :D

 

Even though I have a fantastic 1972 mini I still don't quite know how they do it!

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Not many, really. Played as a pitched source, its TONE defines it across the board, which is its glory and a partial stone in its shoe. Used for "effects" type sounds, it becomes a bit toy-like. How many fake sirens or seashore white noise globs does one generally need? Now if you effect it and tweak with insight, there is definitely a sublime, expressive freaky realm there, but its sharply attenuated to either side of the Moog Sound. Its "limited" by its main focus of immediacy in live use. You almost never hear a Moog sound without thinking "Moog," which can become intrusive. So finessing it has come to have more substance.

 

Bob once told Wendy Carlos that he was amazed at the range of things she got her modular to do, but she made a wise observation about context that stuck with me. A constant squealy Moog lead makes me itch these days, but when its a short solo or a second part of a patch that amps it up, I get back into its unique groove. You can't honor any Moog now without seeing it as part of an ensemble of other unique voices. It was all people HAD early on (plus ARP, EMS and the first junior-grade Japanese synths, o'course); now it has to play the part of a sub-group more often.

 

I owned one, I feel the luv, so this is said with respect. I simply think that because of all that's grown out of Moog's work, its not about how many sounds it could theoretically emit, because our hard disks bulge with Everything now. Its about the player's ability to make it sing as an instrument first and a Moog second.

 

 

 

We just say "This is this, that's that,
 here it is and you respond to it."
The response is
 "Oh, I'm hip, but of course, I'm offended."
    ~ Frank Zappa

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I'm going to toss a wrench into the works here and say that the number of sounds that the minimoogs can make is NOT infinite because it has finite functionality.

 

So for example you can twist the knobs and push the switches for all eternity and you will not get the exact sound many simple things that exist in nature.. A moose call or a a complex bird call, or many other simple and/or complex sounds. If it cannot create any/all sounds, given its limited functionality, you cannot say that its sound capability is infinite because an infinite number of sounds would have to include all sounds, would it not?

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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Its about the player's ability to make it sing as an instrument first and a Moog second.

 

+100 ^^

 

Owning one of these gems, I know this is the truth. The uniqueness of the Moog is how well it does "sing".

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Its about the player's ability to make it sing as an instrument first and a Moog second.

 

I didn't want to add anything else to this silly, navel-gazing bullcrap topic (as initially put forward), but David, I did find your post interesting, and Tony's hilarious.

 

I make software noises.
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Yep, it's about that singing, musical quality.

 

When my son was a little more than two, I took him to Disneyworld and we spent a day at Joe Rivers audio playground museum. He fooled around with a lot of synths, but the one time he burst out crying was when I had to drag him away from a Mini. :D

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Nobody forces you to respond.

 

Of course in the university realm, this question will get different answers, depending on which student type would be present. For musicians with often significant knowledge about these subjects, I guess I was aiming for something else than answered thus far.

 

For instance : how useful are the controls on the synthesizer. Or: what type of sound does it create for most of the time, and why does this provoke so many reactions.

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....... you cannot say that its sound capability is infinite because an infinite number of sounds would have to include all sounds, would it not?

 

Hence you have the paradox of "infinity". It works in theory, but not in reality. If you have a hotel with infinite rooms, and you only rent out the odd numbered rooms, you still have an infinite number of rooms to rent.

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Theo - still think you're an eccentric inventor - I often can't follow what you're on about in your posts - but I'm interested in what you're doing.

 

"So it's safe to think even this not too-many knobs synth would better be simulated mainly by imitating the signal path and knob effects than most other approaches."

 

Yes.

 

Why don't you get in touch with the OP-X guy? Find out if that what's he did - broke it down into bits and used Reaktor modules (or whatever they call them) to create a working software model to tweak further.

 

http://www.sonicprojects.ch/obx/vstversion.html

 

 

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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cannot say that its sound capability is infinite because an infinite number of sounds would have to include all sounds, would it not?

No, it would not. ;-)

 

Simple example... The set of positive integers is infinite, yet it does not include any negative numbers. Infinite simply means an endless quantity; it does not have to include all possibilities.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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There's a form of "artificial intelligence" which makes sound decisions in the machine. Or you could call it there's software in there that somehow messes with the sounds, which probably is intended to make sure sounds retain an amount of audio-safety, i.e. that certain bad-resounding waves and very loud mid-range sounds fulfill certain technical criteria. Also, there's interpretations of the parameters of sounds in the PC3, meaning that the exact parameter settings don't have the last word in which sounds actually are created by the "sound engine". Of course some of these effects are in the range of subtlety, but I find it disturbing. I've made progress in making *much* better sounds for my taste, by imitating all kinds of strange extra effects in the Kurzweil until I annihilated them, and performing this type of programming also improved other sound aspect, which are probably a consequence of a rather superficial use of the AI in the machine. Of course you could use other names for all these little programs parts in it.

 

T

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Back to the main topic I tried to raise.

 

Three sounds, that's not very many. Could it be so they remain the same when we adjust the envelopes drastically ? Shutting one oscillator down, is that a new sound?

 

Surely most people would take it there are quite some more sounds possible with this classic machine, unless maybe the idea of analog infinity makes them emotionally shut down... Or it's like "bass sound" "solo sound" "effect sound" and that's it.

 

Of course it is hard to make a preset minimoog that will satisfy most people wanting one, so probably there is a lot of possibilities people want with such machine, because the chance of getting to be a satisfied customer if the dials would be replaced by switches with say two settings seems small.

 

Of course a particular customer could think (out loud or in themselves) "give me 10 presets and some fine tuning controls". But would that end up being acceptable to most other customers?

 

When multi-tracking with the machine, people may want to either switch on off the "drift", depending on what layered sound they may want to achieve. But is, in the case of the example of the MiniMoog" the match of the chosen parameters by Mr. Moog with all kinds of desirable audio properties not better than on other synths. Even: what is that Moog sound, and how does it play with amps/speakers, effet equipment, and how does it resound through a space.

 

The tuning of the sound while playing interests me in the sense of something like a long Jazz solo: what can it, and can't it do ? I suppose I would think there are some serious limitations to it, even though the theoretical number of variations in sounds when grabbing random knobs is great, somehow there's also a lot of similar tones, no matter what knob you'd tune. In productions, that's maybe more interesting.

 

 

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Nonono, no philosophical rant or professional politics of the musical sciences here. I just need to know, because I'm working on my Superficial Intelligence side-pushing, well-mixed, sampling error (to a certain extend) compensated, deep simulation model based sounds for the Kurzweil, and thought this time I'd work on the Virtual Analog side of things.

 

Theo, you´re from Holland,- right ?

I always liked there are lots of drugs legal and when I was there @Northsea Festival, in the Paradiso or Melkweg and so on,- I always enjoyed,- but that was somewhere in the 70s, you know ...

 

Theo,- since I read your posts I have a hard time to stand the brand names Kurzweil and Lexicon,- and now, you comment on my favourite lead instrument ever made,- the Minimoog D.

 

Finally, I´ll tell you that it is totally impossible to get the sound and the experience of a Minimoog D out of a Kurzweil and in conjunction w/ Lexicon FX device and all your Linux plugins in the chain,- and now I´d wish you invest the money to find out yourself.

 

Have in mind, you´ll find non-spring loaded wheels as well as no presets and have to connect real CV-pedals, glide- and release switches to get the experience.

 

There is no comparison and I tell you because I owned 3 Minimoog Ds,- kept one of these in working condition and play a KURZ PC361.

 

Believe me, I´d wish I could get these sounds out of a Kurzweil, so I could leave my (then retired) Minimoog at home,- but it doesn´t happen because it only works halfway w/ the bright sounds of Minimoog patches based on sawtooth waves and all the other is crap.

 

In fact,- it´s always crap because you doesn´t find freerun OSCs and freerun LFOs in most digital instruments and capabilities of audio rate modulations are limited too.

 

The f**kin´ Arturia BS-emulations are no reference anyway.

 

So, nonono, no philosophical rant also here, just only the reality ...

 

A Minimmog D is a Minimoog D and a Kurzweil XYZ is exactly what it is as well as a Lexicon FX device and that rules for Linux plugins and any sophisticated signal chains you create.

 

Don´t think I´m intolerant ...

When experimentation is what makes you happy, that´s o.k. man.

But I always wondered what it has to do w/ music.

 

In fact, I find it boring to talk about sound only.

I myself, I don´t believe sound is music.

 

Music needs sounds, that´s correct,- but the better the music (or composition) is, the less electronic sound it needs,- that´s my experience.

The real orchestra is hard to beat,- just only my opinion.

Believe it or not,- the Minimoog D comes close,- it´s (for me) some kind of Stradivari violin of the electronic instruments.

 

You´ll never find out until you grow up w/ it and learn playing this thing,- and I had the luck.

A luck a didn´t had w/ a Hammond,- and I´d wish I´d had the luck to learn playing a Hammond the same way I learned to play a Minimmog D.

Is all different stuff,- playing monophonic or polyphonic synths, piano or organ.

You´ll rarely find cats doing everything perfect and you´ll never find a machine doing everything perfect soundwise.

 

A.C.

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Whenever I hear the term "Mini Moog"... I think of this guy...

 

That´s great you do because Chic had always ONE intention playing MOOG lead synths,- he needed "reedy" sounds.

He also got this from the ARP Odyssey in tunes like "Songs of the Pharoa Kings", but like George Duke, he prefered playing both synths, ARP and MOOG until ARP became unavailable and/or unreliable !

All-in-all, the MOOG has the much more snappy envelopes and "buttery" filter,- so availability AND these features make the decision up today.

For the pro gigging/touring musician counts "I need gear that works", not the esoteric stuff published in forums cluttered by amateurs (no offense because I know you aren´t one)- so, they play what´s available, has a service network around the globe and sounds as close as posibble to their imaginations,- not more no less.

The big cats make compromises always,- maybe much earlier than all these amateurs here in the forum do.

 

These guys are business men,- successful ones, and they use what works NOW to make the money a world tour brings.

Sound is absolutely 2nd row,- it´s not unimportant, but 2nd row.

There are politics and logistics which are much more important than sound.

 

A.C

 

 

 

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