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Why I'm frustrated


Magpel

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...I've spent the last few years teaching myself subtractive synthesis and bits and piece of other synthesis paradigms. I'll never be a grade A intentional sound designer, but I've learned my way around the constructs, and I'm a pilgrim of serendipity. I now seldom use a synth sound that isn't roll your own.

 

The Z1, quirky little beast that it is, has been a good training ground, as have my arsenal of softsynths and now DSI Evolver.

 

But, all of a sudden, the resovoir of waveforms in a good ROMpler are of interest to me not for the purpose of instrument emulation but as an expanded pallette for sound design and synthesis, and my QS8 has me frustrated. It's waveforms, it turns out, are very usable. I might not think much of the tuba sample as a tuba, but I can hear all kinds of wonderful things that could be made of its timbral qualities if I think of the Tuba sampler as a simple, single oscillator in a four voice synth program. Where the QS8 is lacking is in the area of standard synth components. It's filter is the wimpiest little thing. It's envnelopes are limited and slow, etc., and so on.

 

So I guess I'm looking for a ROMpler or sampler with real high grade multimode filters and other synth components...only I'm not looking at all. I have a moraotioum on music spending, so I'm just bitching...

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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I've been using a Korg Triton for several years now and I approach sounds the same way. I'm so annoyed with people that complain that the Triton doesn't have the best piano or the Motif doesn't do synth sounds well, or whatever.

 

Stop complaining and start editing! Sheesh. It's fun to mix something like a noise sample with a saw waveform, or combine vocals with say, a bass wave. I'm not trying to create the best violin or sax sound.....I want to find a sound that hasn't been heard yet.

 

The "roll your own" concept is often avoided by synth players. They want the best sound right now, out of the box, or from a sample CD set--the easier way out. It takes work, and it's worth the effort. I'd love to spend a few days with a classic synth like the Jupiter 8. That's real synthesis. :)

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Yeah, the biggest QS frustration has turned out to be those filters. The envelopes while limited are actually very nice and offer good control, but without filters they're almost worthless!

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Coyote, I was expecting your response because I know you've made a concerted effort to get the most out of your QS8. you're right; the envs aren't the problem per se. I think I was referring to the fact that other synths offer envelopes with more stages, e.g., even my old Alpha Juno 2 has a nice envelope with a decay level as well as decay time--true 4 stage env.

 

but, yes, what I'm bitching about is the filter. It couldn't cut half-melted butter.

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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Originally posted by felix.:

If I'm not mistaken, the Roland V-Synth and the Kurzweil K2661 could both do the kinds of things you're describing.

Thanks for the options. A I recall, I think Aeon spoke highly of the yamaha A-series samplers as excellent "manglers" as well. I'm not sure I'm up for the challenge of masteirng a sampler and assembling my own collection of waveforms, which is why, for the purposes described above, a ROMpler looks so good. I know Bryce is fond of the Motif ES's filters and synth architecture.

But, as I said, i ain't in GAS mode. I'll have to stumble on that V-Synth at a yard sale to make it a reality. ;)

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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The Roland XV/Fantom series has a lot of programming depth and you can download a software editor from the RolandUS site that is very nice. On the XV-5080 version I can tell it what expansion ROM's are in which slots and those waves are available in the editor drop down windows. :D

 

Emu is also a great ROMpler for programming. It has a small window and there is no software editor but the OS is logical, the filters are great and you get a lot of routing options. Everyone needs an XL-7 in their setup.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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A used Korg Oasys (if using the latest OS upgrade) has all of the Triton samples and more. It is also pretty cheap these days (~$300). In addition to subtractive synthesis aspect, it also has the physical models, FM synthesis and integrated effects.

 

The downside is that it only works on certaion computer OSs, and sometime the polyphony is limited.

 

http://www.korg.com/oasyspci_synth.htm

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You want to work with samples as a starting point, then treat them with synthesis in every possible manner? The answer is almost automatic: Get a Kurzweil. If you're on a low budget, even an used K2000R (for about $600) will give you most of the goodies; you can always upgrade later to a newer K2550/2600/2661, and it will read your K2000 sounds.
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Originally posted by Superbobus:

You know what got me frustrated lately? That I tweaked the hell out my CS6x to get a decent Rhodes patch and now I have this EVP88 it sounds like shiiiiit.

That is such a common experience. My friend thought he had perfected the ultimate _________ (insert sound here) four different times as he upgraded to new technology.

 

- Jeff

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Well it seems about time we review some persistent aspects on discusions such as this one:

 

1) As synthoid pointed out, most of us are admittedly lazy when it comes to "learning the ropes" of tweaking. Most people will argue they would rather spend their time learning/playing music than learning how to coax a desired sound out of a synthesizer. My own personal excuse is that I set my goals high, which means I hardly ever get to like any end product of my tewakings. And before I get the expectable flak let me admit here in public that I am my own nemesis, and am to blame for being so picky with my sounds and yet putting so little trust on my tweaking abilities versus the capabilities of my gear.

 

2)Still related to the previous comment, the quest for "the best available grand piano, Minimoog, Wurlitzer, Hammond, etc. sound" seems to be on everybody's menu, both the tweakers and the lazy non-believers like myself. Now avoiding the default, unrectifiable answer "...Well, then go on and buy a real Bösendorfer, Minimoog, Wurly, B3, etc." which is rather unfeasible for most of us, the elusive "keyboard player's satisfaction regarding his gear" boils down to a balance between three variables:

- How much money can you spend;

- How important are each of these specific sounds for your daily use; and

- How big can your keyboard rig get to be.

 

3) Last but not least, in spite of variables such as particular fondness for a given brand, subjectivity of certain analysis, technical goodies such as MIDI implementation quality, overall controlability and (why not?) sex appeal, there seems to be a sort of unanimity (soundwise) when we talk about some pieces of gear. Like no one says the Kurz grand piano sucks, or the Electro Hammond sucks, etc.

 

Hope I have fueled this discussion to make it last a little more, because it interests me very much. Comments, anybody?

"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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When working with a ROMpler type system my goal is never something like getting the best ep. That is never going to happen anyway. A more obtainable goal is something like taking a choir patch, offsetting the start point of the wave and using a quick attack to give it a percussive beginning, testing it with a variety of filters, and creating something that plays like an ep but sounds different. This is where a ROMpler with a limited amount of ROM can still compete with large, dedicated software sample players. It gets even more interesting when you start using lots of modulation routings. If you worry about getting accurate articulations then someone is always going to release a product that is bigger, better and with more options. If you go for your own sound and add some ring mode to a choir or filter morphing to a horn and go the other direction then you are only limited by imagination.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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John:

 

Have you tried routing the QS through the Evolver's filters? Since the audio-in is stereo, I assume you should be able to blend at least two partials monophonically. It doesn't seem like much, but it will get you the powerful tonal control you desire.

 

More importantly, you will be synthesizing in a modular manner, which is where (I humbly suggest) you have always been destined to go. :)

 

Best,

 

Jerry

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If you're looking for a relatively cheap external filter to process your sounds with, why not try the moogerfooger? It's a lot of sonic fun for the money....and maybe it will meet your needs til you have saved up for a Kurz or Andromeda or something else with good filters...

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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John, I know you've got the moratorium thing going but the next time you go into your favorite music store spend some time with the V-Synth. From what you described, it would be hard to come up with a more perfect fit. I've been playing with one for the last few days and I beginning to think it has the potential to be another VL1 in my arsena. This thing is killer.

 

For example, with PCM oscillators you have control over TIME (stretch/shrink waveform fwd/bwd in realtime) and FORMANT (essentially change gender-but not just for vocals). There are dedicated envelopes for everything. Each OSC has dedicated envelopes for pitch, time/PW, formant/fat, amplitude.

 

The COSM "effects" aren't effects at all. They are really modular components which are placed in the synth engine. They process the sound polyphonically, each note separately. The filters are awesome: two sidebands (very unusual), comb, dual, TB303, (LP, BP, HP, NOTCH, PEAK each at 24/12/6db). And more envelopes, e.g. separate, dedicate envelopes for cutoff freq and resonance.

 

This thing is more a sampler (with full VA capabilities) than a ROMpler. Though it comes with a ROMpler like wave set, they are loaded in from storage when the synth is turned on. As I understand it, you can completely replace the waves/patches with your own making your V-Synth 100% different from your neighbor's. It takes about 20 seconds to load in all samples/patches.

 

Lots of realtime control with the knobs and pad. I don't think there's a synth out there with better fit and finish. The Karma is an interesting synth but the cheap keyboard, plastic case and wall wart power supply are a real turn off. The V-Synth reeks of quality.

 

Any how, check it out when you get a chance.

 

Busch.

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