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Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1

LPF83

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Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« on: August 19, 2021, 03:28:24 PM »
I mentioned in the Toraiz forum that I seem to routinely get better bass out of the AS-1 than I do my P6.  This is saying a lot, because the P6 is outstanding at bass..  But to my ears the AS-1 does it a bit better, which makes it a great buy because it frees up my polysynths for duties requiring more power.

I'm attaching examples of the AS-1 and P6 with the EXACT SAME knob settings (confirmed with Soundtower editors for each) with some bassline notes from Get the Balance Right by Depeche Mode (please ignore the imperfect playing, I didn't spend much time on that).   The sounds are dry except for a bit of compression (same plugin and settings on each).

Even though they have the same circuitry, there is something about the AS-1 that does bass a little better.  The differences might be less pronounced once the audio is bounced, but to me it's a difference that matters.

There is more to this story... my actual "Get the Balance Right" bass patch on the AS-1 (NOT THE ONE UPLOADED HERE)uses a touch of ring modulation to squeeze out just a bit more wow factor out of the sound, which arguably is what really makes this patch shine.  There is something about the ringmod FX on the P6 that is not the same as AS-1 and it is not able to do it.  On P6, with Unison enabled and set to only one voice, the ringmod tracking stays in tune, but it sounds like shit.  Turn Unison off and it sounds like a major tuning bug in the ringmod implementation on the P6....  I remember reading these have different FX implementations so it could be some sort of "optimized for poly use" on the P6.  But definitely different FX.  On both synths I disabled FX for this test.

I have also noticed that in terms of sculpting new bass sounds, something about the simplicity of the envelope knobs on the AS-1, even though it has menu diving where the P6 does not, actually seems to result in better bass-design workflow, more sweetspots found faster, etc.  It could be partially because of the tight focus of such a small box with fewer knobs.
I never use the AS-1 for anything but bass -- it is certainly capable of more, but being a mono it cannot really compete with the P6 or P5/10 in a lot of other areas.  But for the price, what a synth!

What do you think of the differences in sound?  Prefer one over the other?   I think the difference is easier to notice in the final few seconds (maybe I should have made the clips shorter).
« Last Edit: August 19, 2021, 04:06:59 PM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2021, 12:28:18 AM »
I mentioned in the Toraiz forum that I seem to routinely get better bass out of the AS-1 than I do my P6.  This is saying a lot, because the P6 is outstanding at bass..  But to my ears the AS-1 does it a bit better, which makes it a great buy because it frees up my polysynths for duties requiring more power.

I'm attaching examples of the AS-1 and P6 with the EXACT SAME knob settings (confirmed with Soundtower editors for each) with some bassline notes from Get the Balance Right by Depeche Mode (please ignore the imperfect playing, I didn't spend much time on that).   The sounds are dry except for a bit of compression (same plugin and settings on each).

Even though they have the same circuitry, there is something about the AS-1 that does bass a little better.  The differences might be less pronounced once the audio is bounced, but to me it's a difference that matters.

There is more to this story... my actual "Get the Balance Right" bass patch on the AS-1 (NOT THE ONE UPLOADED HERE)uses a touch of ring modulation to squeeze out just a bit more wow factor out of the sound, which arguably is what really makes this patch shine.  There is something about the ringmod FX on the P6 that is not the same as AS-1 and it is not able to do it.  On P6, with Unison enabled and set to only one voice, the ringmod tracking stays in tune, but it sounds like shit.  Turn Unison off and it sounds like a major tuning bug in the ringmod implementation on the P6....  I remember reading these have different FX implementations so it could be some sort of "optimized for poly use" on the P6.  But definitely different FX.  On both synths I disabled FX for this test.

I have also noticed that in terms of sculpting new bass sounds, something about the simplicity of the envelope knobs on the AS-1, even though it has menu diving where the P6 does not, actually seems to result in better bass-design workflow, more sweetspots found faster, etc.  It could be partially because of the tight focus of such a small box with fewer knobs.
I never use the AS-1 for anything but bass -- it is certainly capable of more, but being a mono it cannot really compete with the P6 or P5/10 in a lot of other areas.  But for the price, what a synth!

What do you think of the differences in sound?  Prefer one over the other?   I think the difference is easier to notice in the final few seconds (maybe I should have made the clips shorter).

Is the P6 track not in Unison mode? I hear what sounds like notes ringing, one into the next. That's the main - only? - difference to my ham-fisted ears!

LPF83

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Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2021, 03:48:29 AM »
Is the P6 track not in Unison mode? I hear what sounds like notes ringing, one into the next. That's the main - only? - difference to my ham-fisted ears!

It should be with Unison mode enabled on P6, but after making a number of tweaks and takes, it is entirely possible I mistakenly toggled it off due to the reasons mentioned above (ring mod tuning not tracking right on P6).  I do hear the difference you're referring to as well, and that sounds like it might be the cause. 

Even if those two clips are flawed with a bit of note bleed, the main difference in the two sounds that I want to highlight is audible (even if very subtle).  When bounced to audio it is not as prominent as it is listening to both synths live, and how well it can be heard might depend on speakers (typical PC speakers may not do it, on this computer I'm using Klipsch Promedia 2.1, where it is very subtle, but its still there). 

To hear the difference, listen for the transient of the bass and the overall brightness of the sound on good speakers.   There is slightly more detail on the AS-1 version.... but even that small percentage of detail has a compounding effect on how the overall bassline hits the ear. 

Now I'm tempted to do another set of clips just to be certain unison is enabled on the P6, and to limit the clip duration so that it better highlights the characteristic in question.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 03:51:25 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

LPF83

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Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2021, 05:05:44 AM »
I've uploaded shorter clips and confirmed Unison is on with the P6.

Hopefully it makes the difference easier to hear?

These may actually be a little too short, because if your .wav file player has repeat turned on it may introduce its own weirdness into the sounds, so best turn repeat off.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 06:00:34 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2021, 08:44:45 AM »
I've uploaded shorter clips and confirmed Unison is on with the P6.

Hopefully it makes the difference easier to hear?

These may actually be a little too short, because if your .wav file player has repeat turned on it may introduce its own weirdness into the sounds, so best turn repeat off.

I don't get it.. you are trying to compare two sounds you want to make identical, one on a one voice synth, and another on a 6 voice synth with unison turned on? Would you not want to turn unison off on the P6 to do a like for like match up?

Even so, I think you are looking at tiny, tiny, minute differences here...

LPF83

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Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2021, 09:21:40 AM »
I've uploaded shorter clips and confirmed Unison is on with the P6.

Hopefully it makes the difference easier to hear?

These may actually be a little too short, because if your .wav file player has repeat turned on it may introduce its own weirdness into the sounds, so best turn repeat off.

I don't get it.. you are trying to compare two sounds you want to make identical, one on a one voice synth, and another on a 6 voice synth with unison turned on? Would you not want to turn unison off on the P6 to do a like for like match up?

Even so, I think you are looking at tiny, tiny, minute differences here...

Supposedly an AS-1 is a one-voice Prophet 6 with identical circuitry, so it should be an apples to apples comparison in that sense.  As Ant pointed out, leaving Unison on (while leaving it set at one voice) would be needed on the P6 for a bassline comparison like this to make it behave like a monophonic synth such as the AS-1, otherwise voices could overlap.

The differences in this example seem tiny once the audio has been bounced, but just like a small tweak to a knob on an analog synth can make a big difference (depending on the sound and whats being done with it), those very subtle details can get magnified when they are pushed through other FX.  The difference in these examples would not be hugely noticable in a mix with lots of other instruments playing, but the difference in tone dynamic is somewhat striking when you're working with both of them side by side. 

Don't take this as a strike against the P6 when it comes to bass sounds.  It's more of a quest to understand what makes the AS-1 a bit stronger in this area?   Vince Clark used to say the Pro One did bass sounds better than the Prophet 5, and I've heard others say the same with regard to mono versions of polys.  So I'm wondering why that seems to be the case?
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2021, 09:58:22 AM »
I don't get it.. you are trying to compare two sounds you want to make identical, one on a one voice synth, and another on a 6 voice synth with unison turned on? Would you not want to turn unison off on the P6 to do a like for like match up?

Even so, I think you are looking at tiny, tiny, minute differences here...

When you hold down unison and hit bank up/down, you can control the amount of unison voices... down to 1 voice, to emulate classic mono synth type behavior.

Sequential Pro 3 and Rev 2, Deepmind, PolyBrute - Sound Sets, Patch Banks - Available on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/sounddesign/

Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2021, 01:58:56 AM »
Ah right, I misunderstood - I thought there were more than one voice being used!

In regards the sound files, it sounds to my ears like the P6 ones have a bit of a longer reverb on them perhaps, which is causing the difference. Could be wrong but that what it sounds like to me - each note seems to meld into the next slightly more therefore giving a slightly less defined feel.

LPF83

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Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2021, 03:17:24 AM »
Ah right, I misunderstood - I thought there were more than one voice being used!

In regards the sound files, it sounds to my ears like the P6 ones have a bit of a longer reverb on them perhaps, which is causing the difference. Could be wrong but that what it sounds like to me - each note seems to meld into the next slightly more therefore giving a slightly less defined feel.

There's no reverb on the sounds and the DAW track settings for each are identical, but yes the P6 sound has a slight blur to it that seems to lack the detail of the AS-1.

I would attribute the difference in sound to the normal variation that can occur from one analog synth to another, but I saw posts from others on Gearspace who had purchased a P6 or a Pro3 after their AS-1, and were dissapointed to find they didn't have quite the same punch.

The other big mystery was the ring modulation (not used in these examples)... subtle amounts add even more punch to the sound, but it was unusable on this sound in the P6 -- the P6 was not able to track the tuning properly across notes, and even with that aside it just sounded terrible, like a completely different FX algorithm.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 03:23:52 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2021, 04:42:46 AM »
Ah right, I misunderstood - I thought there were more than one voice being used!

In regards the sound files, it sounds to my ears like the P6 ones have a bit of a longer reverb on them perhaps, which is causing the difference. Could be wrong but that what it sounds like to me - each note seems to meld into the next slightly more therefore giving a slightly less defined feel.

There's no reverb on the sounds and the DAW track settings for each are identical, but yes the P6 sound has a slight blur to it that seems to lack the detail of the AS-1.

I would attribute the difference in sound to the normal variation that can occur from one analog synth to another, but I saw posts from others on Gearspace who had purchased a P6 or a Pro3 after their AS-1, and were dissapointed to find they didn't have quite the same punch.

The other big mystery was the ring modulation (not used in these examples)... subtle amounts add even more punch to the sound, but it was unusable on this sound in the P6 -- the P6 was not able to track the tuning properly across notes, and even with that aside it just sounded terrible, like a completely different FX algorithm.

Intersting.. I do that find that slightly surprising tbh. Could you possibly post the sysex of the P6 patch? Then I guess one or two of us can check if we get the same thing (proving or disproving the variation between individual synths)

LPF83

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Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2021, 04:59:55 AM »
Intersting.. I do that find that slightly surprising tbh. Could you possibly post the sysex of the P6 patch? Then I guess one or two of us can check if we get the same thing (proving or disproving the variation between individual synths)

I didn't save the P6 patch, but you can recreate it very quickly using the AS-1 knob values in the attached image.  You will want an editor that shows you the specific values on the P6 (I suspect a demo version of Soundtower or Codeknobs might get you there if you don't already have them).  From a default patch on the P6, you'd only change the values in the following settings: OSC 1, OSC 2, Mixer, Low Pass Filter, Filter Envelope, Amplifier Envelope.   Be sure to disable FX; they are enabled in this photo.

I have to say, though, that unless you're comparing a P6 and AS-1 side-by-side, it won't be necessarily a valid comparison, because other differences such as our audio interfaces could introduce additional audible variation.



« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 05:01:48 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

LPF83

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Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2021, 09:04:35 AM »
Just for kicks I tried recreating this sound on u-He Repro-1. 

I was able capture most of the core elements of the sound (even though the knob values are not the same and require extensive tweaking to get there).  But no matter what I did, the VST always had that muddy "bleh" component to it that (to my ears) pretty much all analog modeling synth plugins have.  The result was so uninspiring I didn't save the patch or care to bounce it for comparison purposes -- it just wasn't a fair fight.  Not to say that Repro-1 isn't a good VST, or isn't capable of decent bass sounds -- its not bad for a plugin.  But comparing it to the AS-1 or P6 for bass sounds, sonically its not even in the same league.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2021, 09:06:12 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2021, 07:47:20 AM »
Intersting.. I do that find that slightly surprising tbh. Could you possibly post the sysex of the P6 patch? Then I guess one or two of us can check if we get the same thing (proving or disproving the variation between individual synths)

I didn't save the P6 patch, but you can recreate it very quickly using the AS-1 knob values in the attached image.  You will want an editor that shows you the specific values on the P6 (I suspect a demo version of Soundtower or Codeknobs might get you there if you don't already have them).  From a default patch on the P6, you'd only change the values in the following settings: OSC 1, OSC 2, Mixer, Low Pass Filter, Filter Envelope, Amplifier Envelope.   Be sure to disable FX; they are enabled in this photo.

I have to say, though, that unless you're comparing a P6 and AS-1 side-by-side, it won't be necessarily a valid comparison, because other differences such as our audio interfaces could introduce additional audible variation.

Oh no! Canít believe you didnít save the patch  :D

Never mind.. have to be honest I donít have the inclination to download an editor and get that working and then emulate the settings just to do this.. good luck though!

LPF83

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Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2021, 03:34:46 PM »
Intersting.. I do that find that slightly surprising tbh. Could you possibly post the sysex of the P6 patch? Then I guess one or two of us can check if we get the same thing (proving or disproving the variation between individual synths)

I didn't save the P6 patch, but you can recreate it very quickly using the AS-1 knob values in the attached image.  You will want an editor that shows you the specific values on the P6 (I suspect a demo version of Soundtower or Codeknobs might get you there if you don't already have them).  From a default patch on the P6, you'd only change the values in the following settings: OSC 1, OSC 2, Mixer, Low Pass Filter, Filter Envelope, Amplifier Envelope.   Be sure to disable FX; they are enabled in this photo.

I have to say, though, that unless you're comparing a P6 and AS-1 side-by-side, it won't be necessarily a valid comparison, because other differences such as our audio interfaces could introduce additional audible variation.

Oh no! Canít believe you didnít save the patch  :D

Never mind.. have to be honest I donít have the inclination to download an editor and get that working and then emulate the settings just to do this.. good luck though!

Understandable, I really only posted the settings since you asked for the P6 patch.  I think you might be overestimating the amount of effort needed with, say the CodeKnobs demo version though.  Out of curiosity what do you use for patch management on your P6? 
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Depeche Mode Sound Test - Prophet 6 vs. Toraiz AS-1
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2021, 05:02:37 PM »
Intersting.. I do that find that slightly surprising tbh. Could you possibly post the sysex of the P6 patch? Then I guess one or two of us can check if we get the same thing (proving or disproving the variation between individual synths)

I didn't save the P6 patch, but you can recreate it very quickly using the AS-1 knob values in the attached image.  You will want an editor that shows you the specific values on the P6 (I suspect a demo version of Soundtower or Codeknobs might get you there if you don't already have them).  From a default patch on the P6, you'd only change the values in the following settings: OSC 1, OSC 2, Mixer, Low Pass Filter, Filter Envelope, Amplifier Envelope.   Be sure to disable FX; they are enabled in this photo.

I have to say, though, that unless you're comparing a P6 and AS-1 side-by-side, it won't be necessarily a valid comparison, because other differences such as our audio interfaces could introduce additional audible variation.

Oh no! Canít believe you didnít save the patch  :D

Never mind.. have to be honest I donít have the inclination to download an editor and get that working and then emulate the settings just to do this.. good luck though!

Understandable, I really only posted the settings since you asked for the P6 patch.  I think you might be overestimating the amount of effort needed with, say the CodeKnobs demo version though.  Out of curiosity what do you use for patch management on your P6?

I just save them, and I have a tiny notepad which never leaves its side in which I write a kind of patch name. Quite old school!