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Analog synth type sound programming w/ non- analog keyboards


aellison62

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I have just finished 2 hours of programming my Roland FA06 to create a few analog lead sounds. After searching and auditioning the vast lead synth library of this instrument, I have not found anything close to those classic analog ( especially ) Minimoog type leads with the ladder filter.

 

I did choose the Rippin Mini as a starting point on the FA06.

 

I start this thread to have others chime in with their tricks, go-to options, opinions, on how to create this type of program on their respective non- analog keyboards. Do they have analog feel adjustments, unison mode, or drive, or some other specific, or general, tweak that you employ to really get the authenticity of an analog lead synth out of a nonAnalog keyboard?

 

Kurzweil Forte 7, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC361,

Kronos X61, RD-88, Nautilus 73

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Hopefully you'll get some tips here, but you know, even most *analog* synths can't really sound like a minimoog. I wouldn't count on the FA getting any closer than your Radias or Kurzweils (which are not shabby as VA synths go). If that's what you're after, I'd consider adding a Roland SE-02 to your rig, which will come closer than any of the above. Or if you don't need presets, the Behringer Model D.

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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I start this thread to have others chime in with their tricks, go-to options, opinions, on how to create this type of program on their respective non- analog keyboards.

It's not really a "trick" as such, but I stumped up for a KingKorg a few years ago so I could more closely emulate analogue synth sounds. The fact of the matter is the filter emulations on that keyboard give you such a great starting point it makes it so much easier to achieve the result you want. I'm addicted to the tube that 'board has for warming up sounds too.

 

I guess I'm really parroting what Scott has already said in that some 'boards simply won't get you there as they don't have the intrinsic ability to create these sounds. I disclaim any expertise on the Roland FA series, however.

 

All of the above said, I won't pretend the KK sounds exactly like the analogue synths it seeks to copy, but it's certainly close enough for live work, with all the associated benefits of (lack of) cost, weight, maintenance, etc. I'm sure there are plenty of other good VA options out there too.

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I'm a little confused. Why you wouldn't do this on your Kurzweil?

 

In any case, I agree with what AnotherScott said about adding SE-02/Behringer D, and what CowboyNQ said about not being able to get there with some boards. :thu:

 

But sometimes for gigs we have to make do, so here's one recipe. Different synth, but the principles are the same:

 

The professional synth designers have had DSP minimoog emulations in mind for awhile.

 

When the Nord Lead arrives in 1995 ... Sound on Sound says "This is a '90s synth that offers much of the presence and sonic power of the Moog it seeks to emulate."

 

When the Korg Prophecy arrives ... the reviewer describes a number of Moog emulations in the demo and then asks ... "This brings us neatly to the following question: can you simply plug in a Prophecy and expect it to sound like a genuine saxophone or a wall full of painstakingly programmed Moog Modules? The answer, I'm afraid, is no."

 

We can fast forward through the entire first generation of VA's. (Roland, Yamaha etc.) Perhaps even through the second generation (Novation, Alesis Ion, et al). The third generation was mostly software based with really close emulations from Arturia, Gforce and Creamware. Meanwhile, more general purpose synthesizers were offering "emulation-friendly" features such as anti-aliasing, free-running oscillators, pre-filter distortion stages, etc.

 

Even users chased the holy grail. I spent several man-hours making my Nord Modular sound much moogier. Free running oscillators and a 4-pole filter (modeled on the Rolland 100's filter) were already provided. In addition to the typical signal path, several overlays were done...

 

1) To emulate Model D's oscillator jitter, modulate oscillators slightly with white noise

2) To model oscillator drift, buss the above noise in a mixer module with slow lfo's (with different phases).

3) Model the prefilter mixer overdrive with a soft clipping module.

4) To make the above non-linear, create feedback loops (prefilter back to clipping module, and post filter back to clipping module). This second loop also makes the filter's resonance characteristics slightly moogier. (e.g. lower resonance at lower frequencies.)

5) Since the standard dsp filter/VCA connection doesn't scream enough, add a very mild smooth clipping module with a rectifying-circuit post filter (to me, rectifying means asymmetrically clipping the positive and negative portions of the waveform by different amounts). This gets you closer to the VCA rasp of the Mini.

6) Since the Moog waveforms are not pure, round the waveforms before they go into the pre-filter overdrive but with a slightly resonant keytracked BPF in parallel, to emphasize the fundamental frequency of each oscillator. Alternatively you could add just a bit of sine wave, but dsp oscillators have this habit of losing phase coherence depending on your computing bandwidth so it's safer to fine-tune the character of the synth with amplification/attenuation of the requisite frequencies of the oscillators you have.

7) Lastly, there is a very gentle roll off of high frequencies (about 1db/octave) which adds a kind of roundness. I added a circuit at the VCA stage to emulate that.

 

That's just one user's experiences. Tonally I got close, though it's still not the real thing. It was fun and educational so ... there's my recipe for you. If you insist on tilting at windmills, you might as well stand on the shoulders of a few Don Quixotes. :whistle:

 

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2532467/all/How_many_different_sounds_can_

 

For step 6, you may prefer to use Roland's Peaking filter to a BPF. All the best!

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I recently added the Minifooger MF Drive to my Stage 2EX synth output. Aside from the overdrive (which I use sparingly), it includes Moogs ladder filter. It fattens up synth lead sound wonderfully.

 

I send selected synth patches out Output 3 and into the pedal. The cutoff is adjustable, and there is a Peak switch which offers a bit more resonance.

 

Really helps the sound go from buzzy to creamy. Easier and cheaper to integrate into the rig than adding a module.

 

Sweetwater did a YouTube video comparing different overdrive pedals for keyboards. The MF really stood out to me as a great sound shaper.

.

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It's not really a "trick" as such, but I stumped up for a KingKorg a few years ago so I could more closely emulate analogue synth sounds. The fact of the matter is the filter emulations on that keyboard give you such a great starting point it makes it so much easier to achieve the result you want. I'm addicted to the tube that 'board has for warming up sounds too...I won't pretend the KK sounds exactly like the analogue synths it seeks to copy, but it's certainly close enough for live work, with all the associated benefits of (lack of) cost, weight, maintenance, etc. I'm sure there are plenty of other good VA options out there too.

Yes, sonically, the KK is probably my favorite VA (not that I've played everything out there... I've never played a Solaris for example). The variety of filter types and yes, that great tube, make it about as analog-y sounding as you can get. The main shortcoming is in the interface/ergonomics. Though the iPad Patch Morpher app might kind of make up for that.

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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It seems like there ought to be some analog synth app with small footprint that you could just use on a iPhone or Android.

There's tons of stuff for iOS (Android still lags in MIDI functionality), but no VA really sounds as analog as a Minimoog, regardless of whether it's in a keyboard or in your iPhone/iPad. But that Roland SE-02 module still gives you a small-footprint solution.

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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From Android 6 - Marshmallow, device manufacturers can enable midi support on the platform. But it is up to the manufacturer to support it.

 

So how well it works will depend on the device manufacturer.

 

Samsung has a DAW app called Soundcamp that can be used with a midi over USB input device. Caustic has been around for a while on Android so it might be a synth option.

MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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Yes, if you're committed to using Android for MIDI, Samsung appears to be the best choice, though you're still not going to get anything remotely close the range of apps available under iOS.

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 far it seems like everyone's tips and tricks are "use something else".

 

I don't have an FA but I used to use even worse - a Roland Sound Canvas. Not one of the later ones, but an SC55. At the time I was playing in a duo doing a lot of 80s stuff (sequenced) that had to nail a lot of analog synths. A lot of it came out sounding pretty close. Certain things just couldn't be done on a rompler like hard sync and PWM unless it was sampled that way to begin with.

 

Most of those types of sounds, I would start with the most basic saw or square wave (depending on what the part called for) available. From there I would treat it just like an analog synth - stack voices with slightly different turnings or LFO amounts to fatten them up, add the right amount of filter resonance. If you don't want to stack voices, use copious amounts of chorus (like the single OSC synths of the time did....Juno 106, PolySix, et all)

 

You're stuck with what you've got for filters. Sometimes you can correct with a little EQ.

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.

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I'm a little confused. Why you wouldn't do this on your Kurzweil?

 

In any case, I agree with what AnotherScott said about adding SE-02/Behringer D, and what CowboyNQ said about not being able to get there with some boards. :thu:

 

But sometimes for gigs we have to make do, so here's one recipe. Different synth, but the principles are the same:

 

The professional synth designers have had DSP minimoog emulations in mind for awhile.

 

When the Nord Lead arrives in 1995 ... Sound on Sound says "This is a '90s synth that offers much of the presence and sonic power of the Moog it seeks to emulate."

 

When the Korg Prophecy arrives ... the reviewer describes a number of Moog emulations in the demo and then asks ... "This brings us neatly to the following question: can you simply plug in a Prophecy and expect it to sound like a genuine saxophone or a wall full of painstakingly programmed Moog Modules? The answer, I'm afraid, is no."

 

We can fast forward through the entire first generation of VA's. (Roland, Yamaha etc.) Perhaps even through the second generation (Novation, Alesis Ion, et al). The third generation was mostly software based with really close emulations from Arturia, Gforce and Creamware. Meanwhile, more general purpose synthesizers were offering "emulation-friendly" features such as anti-aliasing, free-running oscillators, pre-filter distortion stages, etc.

 

Even users chased the holy grail. I spent several man-hours making my Nord Modular sound much moogier. Free running oscillators and a 4-pole filter (modeled on the Rolland 100's filter) were already provided. In addition to the typical signal path, several overlays were done...

 

1) To emulate Model D's oscillator jitter, modulate oscillators slightly with white noise

2) To model oscillator drift, buss the above noise in a mixer module with slow lfo's (with different phases).

3) Model the prefilter mixer overdrive with a soft clipping module.

4) To make the above non-linear, create feedback loops (prefilter back to clipping module, and post filter back to clipping module). This second loop also makes the filter's resonance characteristics slightly moogier. (e.g. lower resonance at lower frequencies.)

5) Since the standard dsp filter/VCA connection doesn't scream enough, add a very mild smooth clipping module with a rectifying-circuit post filter (to me, rectifying means asymmetrically clipping the positive and negative portions of the waveform by different amounts). This gets you closer to the VCA rasp of the Mini.

6) Since the Moog waveforms are not pure, round the waveforms before they go into the pre-filter overdrive but with a slightly resonant keytracked BPF in parallel, to emphasize the fundamental frequency of each oscillator. Alternatively you could add just a bit of sine wave, but dsp oscillators have this habit of losing phase coherence depending on your computing bandwidth so it's safer to fine-tune the character of the synth with amplification/attenuation of the requisite frequencies of the oscillators you have.

7) Lastly, there is a very gentle roll off of high frequencies (about 1db/octave) which adds a kind of roundness. I added a circuit at the VCA stage to emulate that.

 

That's just one user's experiences. Tonally I got close, though it's still not the real thing. It was fun and educational so ... there's my recipe for you. If you insist on tilting at windmills, you might as well stand on the shoulders of a few Don Quixotes. :whistle:

 

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2532467/all/How_many_different_sounds_can_

 

For step 6, you may prefer to use Roland's Peaking filter to a BPF. All the best!

 

Nice, that's a brilliant set of tips! I do a fair few of those already on my Kurz but the white noise oscillator jitter and post-filter clipping are new to me. I always used a 6dB/Oct LPF for #6, but I'll definitely give the peaking filter a go. I don't have a Roland to compare any more but IIRC the PKG filter is just a parametric mid?

 

I'm actually making a tutorial video at the moment for analog sounds on digital synths, I'll be sure to post it here when I'm done. It basically boils down to subtly modulating everything - oscillator pitch, waveshape, filter freq etc - and driving your filters. But based on the answers here it may need extending!

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The good people at Access wrote a pretty good manual on programming digital synths to sound like an analog one.

even details like envelopes shapes are covered.

 

Here is a link to the manual page. (in JAVA btw)

 

Analog on A Digital

 

 

And yes, I Also agree an SE-02 will do all the moog stuff,

and then some. I'm Really digging mine.

 

 

-Karl

 

 

MPCX, RD-800, Vsynth, Matrix 12
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