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Hes the perfect synthesizer ideal changes over decades ?


Theo Verelst

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Maybe this is just a little rant because I've tried to get my latest (here reported) analog processing Kurzweil "correction" or "mixing" processing to work digitally, internal to the PC3 so that those wonderful sounds may come straight from it's own analog main outs.

 

Anyhow it occurs to me I still like those good ol' synt sounds like from a well produced Jean Michel track, or those great riffs and blips from a rock/funky Depeche Mode success. But actual synths are starting to become more interesting in some sort of effect/production setup as I move along. Not that a high quality synth tone lost it's appeal, but there's something about those effects and deep synth sounds that becomes more appealing than another artificial brass hit, or another MiniMoog imitation solo...

 

T.

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Well, I both agree and disagree. More "interesting" is certainly subjective. But certainly modern synths and now softsynths can have far more processing power and polyphony than older ones. Even hybrid synthesis, and sample manipulating, harnessing all the power of essentially or literally a computer. Not all do, but they can. Especially softsynths. I'm a fan actually of the more modern synth styles (plucks pads etc), though not necessarily of the music. But I equally like '70s and 80s synth stuff, if not more.

 

So "more interesting" is subjective, but to an extent more capable in many ways. Nice post.

Yamaha: Motif XF8, MODX7, YS200, CVP-305, CLP-130, YPG-235, PSR-295, PSS-470 | Roland: Fantom 7, JV-1000

Kurzweil: PC3-76, PC4 (88) | Hammond: SK Pro 73 | Korg: Triton LE 76, N1R, X5DR | Emu: Proteus/1 | Casio: CT-370 | Novation: Launchkey 37 MK3 | Technics: WSA1R

Former: Emu Proformance Plus & Mo'Phatt, Korg Krome 61, Roland Fantom XR & JV-1010, Yamaha MX61, Behringer CAT

Assorted electric & acoustic guitars and electric basses | Roland TD-17 KVX | Alesis SamplePad Pro | Assorted organs, accordions, other instruments

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Nope. The perfect synth remains unchanged in the ears of the synthesist.

 

IMO, the analog synth resurgence has renewed interest in being able to create sounds and effects in real-time.

 

The immediacy of being able to plug and play and turn knobs on a dedicated synth is a different experience from ROMplers and software.

 

The tools and approach we choose to use might change over time but all roads lead back to some type of noise whether it is unorganized or organized (music). :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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In some ways, surely so...even in the plugin world you see attempts at pretty much emulation (repro 5 an awesome example of this, emulating the Prophet 5)...then tons of "modern" synths that go far beyond what any analog synth can do feature-wise.

 

That said, I think there is still plenty of room for old-school.

 

Ironically, a thread about a plugin emulation led me to this video. I'd never even heard of this synth, and unfortunately not many are still working. Many of us could sit there for hours on this beast!

 

[video:youtube]

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Yes - the synthesizer ideal has changed over the decades.

 

The vast majority of synthesizer made and sold today have patch memory, midi capabilities, and oscillators that do not drift in tune. These things are not sexy, but have all greatly changed what we consider as part of an "ideal synth".

J.S. Bach Well Tempered Klavier

The collected works of Scott Joplin

Ray Charles Genius plus Soul

Charlie Parker Omnibook

Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life

Weather Report Mr. Gone

 

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My ideal was always hampered by wrestling with iffy early instruments and routing-spaghetti solutions. I still love laying hands to good keys; that's part of the joy of it. However, my deeper base ideal *musically* is better satisfied by software. Its far easier to come up with more decisive shifts and complex layering, so my goals are attainable within two hours rather than two DAYS. There is no one perfect synth, but there are three or four that can come very close when they sit at the table together. Then there are beasts such as the UVI Falcon, which comes close to making several other instruments seem unnecessary. I'm amused by Geoff Downes' 2-story-high ASIA rig, but I like it better inside a Mac, where I can drive it with just two hands. Anything that simplifies the mechanical aspects frees up meat-CPU cycles for my alleged Art. :thu:

 

Lab Mode splits between contemplative work and furious experiments.
Both of which require you to stay the hell away from everyone else.
This is a feature, not a bug.
Kraftwerk’s studio lab, Kling Klang,
 didn’t even have a working phone in it.
       ~ Warren Ellis

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In some ways, surely so...even in the plugin world you see attempts at pretty much emulation (repro 5 an awesome example of this, emulating the Prophet 5)...then tons of "modern" synths that go far beyond what any analog synth can do feature-wise. That said, I think there is still plenty of room for old-school.

... I'd never even heard of this synth, and unfortunately not many are still working. Many of us could sit there for hours on this beast!

 

That demo is a fair representation of the PolyKobol. I got to lay hands to one briefly and its essentially a potent French version of a Prophet. Different tone, obviously, but very similar beef. I lean towards the Repro-5 plug a bit, but the soft version of this one counteracts it. Personally, I like to take up instruments that are left-of-center from the traditional. I sniffed Minimoog emulations until I settled on a Korg Legacy MonoPoly, in part because it *wasn't* a Moog. If I get the Prophet itch badly enough that I finally buy the PolyKobol, it'll be because I want for a few insider types to go "That sounds kinda like a Prophet, but it ain't, so whut izzit?" I genuinely like the synth's voice, but I also enjoy being able to embrace a Gollum-like aspect over The Precious. Those subjective tool choices are part of how you craft your own ideal.

 

Lab Mode splits between contemplative work and furious experiments.
Both of which require you to stay the hell away from everyone else.
This is a feature, not a bug.
Kraftwerk’s studio lab, Kling Klang,
 didn’t even have a working phone in it.
       ~ Warren Ellis

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Interesting. I have read posts by folks that get a bit annoyed by the soft synth makers that want to re-create the past painstakingly. Their argument is: why not make something new and different (and many do). On the other side, there are hordes of people clamoring for the most hard-to-tell-the-difference recreation possible!

 

Then you consider the crazy fx that now exist at the touch of a mouse click, causing crazy stutters and sweeps and complete timbre changes...stuff that would have had Pete Townshend wiring up a room full of stuff for a day probably lol! (He comes to mind after I watched how he did the keys sounds for Who's Next....).

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In the marketplace I see a resurrection of "classic" analog, either through throwback electronics or VA, which leads me to believe that we have arrived at perhaps not so much a perfect synth, as a standard one.

 

I think that in addition to the standard 3 oscillators, filters, controller routing, and modulation by audio osc (FM, Ring, Sync...) the one biggest change in the standard is the presumption of an Effects post-processor, whether for equalization, delay modulation, distortion, or viler purposes. In that sense, we may be catching up with the guitarists.

-Tom Williams

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PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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